As electric vehicle numbers increase, charging stations are expected to as well, but at this point there are comparatively few high-output charging facilities in most regions of the country.
This week, the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) said it has noticed a growing trend for RV parks to offer their already existent 50-amp, 240-volt AC outlets as convenient fast plug-in points for EVs.
About a half dozen campgrounds in the area of Maryland outside of Washington D.C., and at least one in Northern California have done it, and this is something any campground with this common type of outlet could do. In question though is what is a fair mark-up for this convenience? Prices from $8.50 to $10 for a four-hour plug-in were reported. This is more than the actual utility cost, and a questionable value particularly for a Chevy Volt, which can run on gas when needed.
After reading a press release on this yesterday, a Volt owner in the GM-Volt forum offered his views.
“This would amount to $8.50 for the energy equivalent of a gallon of gas in a Volt,” he wrote, “nor would it be much better for a vehicle with a larger pack (in 4 hours). You’d have to be a real green ideologue (or a really desperate BEV driver) to put up with this.”
The campground owners report no complaints however. Electric vehicle owners have been said to be grateful, and while waiting, might read a book, have lunch, or distract themselves some other way at the outdoor recreation facilities. To be sure, it is a value-added service, and the actual dollar amounts are relatively not much.
But – not just at the RV parks, but everywhere – someone looking closer might ask how vulnerable EVs will be to gouging going forward? It’s already known car dealers have gouged in selling them. Will early adopters also be over-charged on the back end? Or will widely fluctuating recharge prices become the norm just like a convenience store might triple charge what the grocery store does down the street?